I don’t have a plan for this blog so sometimes I don’t know what to write—and the answer is always the same: nostalgia!
I loved Legos as a kid. I was just reminded of this because our own kids, eight year-old twin girls, love Legos too, and are playing with theirs right now.
My favorite were the space sets. My brother and I had an elaborate space base—and in fact, we held onto the toys. They’re packed in closets and boxes, but we still have them.
I’m not emotionally prepared this morning to explain how much I loved these sets, the connection my brother and I had over them, and the world of imagination and adventures they inspired. For me, it was a way to extrapolate my love for Star Wars and Star Trek spaceships into the physical world.
My all-time favorite Lego toy was the Galaxy Explorer from 1979. This thing was built like a rock:
It was the Lego “flagship” (the major, big-ticket item), replaced a few years later by the Galaxy Commander (not as good), then the Cosmic Fleet Explorer (really good).
By the late 1980s, we had “aged out” of the toys—and I didn’t really like the direction the designers were taking the new models. I remember them being too flimsy and weird:
While my brother and I had always enacted space-battle adventures with our ships—dogfights with bad guys, getting shot down, rescued, etc.—it just didn’t seem right when Lego introduced explicit bad guy sets. Sell-outs!
Now the early 1980s—that’s the good stuff. And fortunately multiple sites have archived the old instructional manuals and catalogs. Here’s 1980. (By the way, I love all the photogenic mop-top Danes playing with the sets. We all had that haircut in 1980.)
And imagine my surprise in Googling the Galaxy Explorer to discover that Lego has created a souped-up “revival” version of this awesome toy:
And it’s only, yikes, $100?!?
We were at the Lego store in Glendale a few months ago and I was shocked by the prices. Clearly the company has successfully managed to sell to kids as well as to grown-ups looking for the nostalgia kick.
Here’s a Millennium Falcon...for $850. Wow.
To be honest, I don’t really want any Legos now—new or old. Trying to make films and television shows is my pursuit—but it’s definitely one inspired by the feelings and inspiration of those vintage Lego toys.
So bravo, Legos—great toys!